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Behavioral Health Connections Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $546,146)

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (“MCSO”) submits its application with the support of two mental health agencies: The Mental Health and Addiction Association of Oregon (“MHAAO”) and Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. (“Cascadia”). MCSO submits this application in order to increase cooperative efforts by public safety officials and mental health agencies (at the earliest intercept points in the criminal justice system) to connect individuals with mental illness (“MI”) or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse (“CMISA”) with treatment and social services. The proposed Behavioral Health Connections program will address two program-specific priority areas by (1) promoting effective strategies by law enforcement to identify and reduce the risk of harm to individuals with MI or CMISA and to public safety, and (2) including interventions that have been shown by empirical evidence to reduce recidivism. MCSO has not received JMHCP grant funding in the past.

MCSO will utilize grant funds to hire a mental health clinician and fund a peer support specialist with lived experience to fill gaps in its current system, focusing upon Intercepts 0 and 1 (community services and law enforcement response), but continuing to provide assistance to program participants who continue further into the Sequential Intercept Model.

Primary activities performed by Behavioral Health Connections program team members include meeting with individuals with MI or CMISA that are at risk for criminal justice involvement or are already justice-involved, providing behavioral healthcare services or making referrals to Cascadia and other community agencies that provide services for MI or CMISA, and providing ongoing support and case management to assist program participants with self-directed goals. The Behavioral Health Connections program will serve individuals encountering law enforcement in MCSO-patrolled areas in eastern, western, and southern Multnomah County, which includes approximately 52,105 residents. The program will also serve program participants that have entered a Multnomah County jail. The program is intended to benefit individuals with MI or CMISA that are at risk for criminal justice involvement or are already justice involved, and the community at large, by reducing program participants’ risk of justice involvement or risk of re-offense.

Throughout the grant cycle, MCSO will deliver the following: completed Planning and Implementation Guide; quarterly Performance Management Tool reports; fully staffed Behavioral Health Connections program team; appropriate training for team members and
MCSO staff; a functioning program; an outcomes report; and a plan for continuing successful practices upon expiration of the grant.

Date Created: December 16, 2021